I really like how this icy tree in my backyard turned out against the white sky. I thought I would share with you how I made this happen. Because remember… I’m not a great photographer and have an old Canon point and shoot camera… I just know how to do tricks:-)

Here it is straight from the camera. It was raining and turning into ice on the trees. I was fascinated with how white the sky looked. But the photo I took did not capture what it really looked like in person. Mmmm, probably because I didn’t even go outside. This was shot through a very dirty window from upstairs! ha.

First, cropped some of the bottom limbs out of the photo. I then opened Levels and moved the far right Input Levels slider toward the black until the gray was gone from the sky. This turned the entire sky white which I loved, but the tree was still kind of bla.

To make the tree pop. I used the Pioneer Woman’s Define and Sharpen Action. (these actions are free) I could have probably done this well enough by sharpening it myself, but the actions are super easy. I did end up sharpening it a little more to my taste.

I then opened Levels again and clicked on the Set Black Point dropper. I found a light gray part of the tree and hit the dropper on that point, this then made the tree all black and much more dramatic.

I then deleted a branch that was bugging me in the bottom right corner and voila!

I think it looks like a vector image now and would make a great background image for note cards or stationary. Stay tuned to see what I do with it!

***Don’t have Photoshop? Then try the online version here.

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This week is the first I Heart Faces photo contest! All levels of photographers welcome. You have until Wednesday night to link your photos. Winners will get their photo displayed on our home page! Head over there now to click through 100 awesome links!

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  1. Amy,

    Love the shot!! Great composition. Also loved that you explained how you did all the enhancements. Keep up the great work! I heart faces was a brilliant idea, and I look forward to sharing there each week. Thanks for following our blog. If it ok with you Id like to put a link on our blog to yours?


    Tim’s last blog post..

  2. I love this tutorial! I am still not as good with Photoshop Elements. It can be tough at times… Still trying though and look forward to trying to make a great sky like this one. Thanks for the tips!

    MommaDJane’s last blog post..Amy Adele

  3. Oh very cool! One of my resolutions is to learn to do more with photoshop! I’m going to link to this so I can remember for myself! =)

  4. Awesome tut, thanks! I have CS3 but I only know how to use ready-made actions (like PW’s). How lame is that?! I’d love to learn a lot more this year.

    Will play around w/ your tip!

  5. Great help- see if I can do that on my own- Usually I need one of my kids helping me or my sweet daughter in law Heidi.
    {remember- I grew up when you still took your photos to a special guy in a dark room and waited a week or more to get your photos back :}

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